Reformed Church Center Events
A Visit with Tom DeVries
Thursday, April 6, 5:00 pm, at St. John’s
General Secretary of the Reformed Church in America
A Conversation with Wes Granberg-Michaelson
Monday, April 24, 4:30 pm, in New Brunswick
The former ecumenical officer and General Secretary emeritus of the RCA, a long-time member of the board of Sojourners and an astute observer of the intersection of faith and society discusses how Reformed Christians can best respond to the current, contentious political scene.
RCA Women’s Stories Day
Thursday, May 11, 2017
9:30am registration and welcome, coffee/tea and light refreshments
10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Women have been part of the life of the Church as long as there has been a church, and the stories of what women have been doing in the church is an integral part of our history. On Thursday, May 11, at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, the Reformed Church Center at New Brunswick Theological Seminary will host its first Women’s Stories Day, in partnership with RCA Women’s Transformation and Leadership.
Jennifer Reece will give the Hazel Gnade lecture: “Women’s Work for Creation: Reformed Church Women’s Missions and the Beginnings of the Environmental Movement.” Monica Schaap Pierce, RCA Ecumenical Associate, reflects on what the Accra Confession means for women, justice and creation care. Clara Woodson will share her story of breaking barriers in the church. Liz Testa, RCA leader for Women’s Transformation and Leadership will lead an interactive session that encourages us all to honor our stories. Lynn Min, ministry associate at Middle Collegiate Church will be our preacher of the day.
The day begins at 10:00 and ends about 2:30–there will be coffee, tea and fellowship for folks as they arrive, beginning at 9:30.
Staff members from the RCA Archives will be available all through the day (beginning at 9:00 am) to record stories of women’s lives in the church, to be included in the Archives’ growing oral history resource. Anyone who is interested in recording such an interview should mention that in the RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration is free, but there is a suggested donation of $15.00 for lunch (free for seminarians).
RSVP to email@example.com by Monday, May 8.
“Everybody at the Table,” a Multi-Cultural Worship Workshop
For more info about this event, please click here.
Thursday, March 16, 10:00 am in New Brunswick
The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Senior Pastor of Middle Collegiate Church in NYC and 2016-17 Poppen-Young Scholar at NBTS will present the annual Poppen-Young lecture: “For the Healing of the Nations: Love, multicultural worship, and Creating a New American Story.”
Our world is a wonderful mix of cultures, languages, abilities, and orientations. Travel up and down any city street and you will see all sorts of people and shops, hear voices in different languages, and smell an array of fragrant foods from a world’s worth of restaurants. Our differing backgrounds and abilities and perspectives, melded together, make us stronger.
For generations, churches have been the one place that has been homogenous. It has been said that eleven o’clock on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour of the week. But even that is changing in more and more congregations. People of different races, languages, and abilities are getting together for worship as they do for all of life.
On Thursday, March 16, the Reformed Church Center at New Brunswick Theological Seminary will celebrate this blending in “Everybody at the Table,” a workshop looking at how we are joining together, and how we can cross even more cultural barriers.
|The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church, a 900-member multiracial, welcoming, and inclusive congregation in New York City, and the first African American and first woman to serve as a senior minister in the Collegiate Church, will present the 2017-18 Poppen-Young Fellowship lecture: “For the Healing of the Nations: Love, multicultural worship, and Creating a New American Story.” There is no question that something is broken in America: our hearts, our dreams, our sense of civility. Worship “stories” God’s plan for a healthy and whole world. Worship puts love, period, on the line as a balm in Gilead. This practical talk will show and tell how multicultural worship can change the story from broken to whole.|
|The Rev. Jill Fenske, child of God, pastor of the Franklin Reformed Church in Nutley, New Jersey, poet, wife and mother, life-long learner, volunteer chaplain at Camp Sunrise, promoter of dialogue and committed follower of Jesus, will share her experiences of including differently-abled people in worship.|
|The Rev. Vicente Martinez, pastor of the Reformed Church of North Brunswick—the Sanctuary in North Brunswick, New Jersey, chaplain for the Port Authority Police of New York and New Jersey and the New Brunswick Police Department, and lecturer on urban ministry and non-profit initiatives in the US and the Caribbean, will share the story of helping a primarily mono-cultural suburban, Caucasian congregation become bi-lingual and multi-cultural.|
|The Rev. James Hart Brumm, director of the Reformed Church Center, moderator of the Commission on History of the Reformed Church in America, and a teacher on worship and congregational song known across North America, will lead us in worship and a discussion of the theology behind using songs from all cultures.|
The workshop will begin at 10:00 am on Thursday, March 16—registration, coffee, and tea will be available beginning at 9:30 am—and everyone should be on their way home by about 2:00 pm. Registration is free for everyone, and lunch is free for NBTS students, faculty, and staff. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, 13 March.
“Confessing the Faith Today”
What does it mean to be Confessing the Faith Today?
“To all appearances the old Standards have largely fallen into disuse in the church.” This assertion is made by Allan Janssen, affiliate associate professor of theology at NBTS. In his new book, Confessing the Faith Today, he observes that “one hears little reference to the Belgic Confession . . . in ecclesiastical discussions.” Still, Janssen sees this oldest Reformed confession as something valuable for a church engaging the Word and the contemporary U.S. situation.
We discussed this new book and the place of the Belgic Confession in the 21st century at the gathering “Confessing the Faith Today” on Monday, February 13, 2017. Dr. Janssen made a brief presentation about the book and its approach, followed by responses to his work by four pastoral theologians. Watch the video below, and scroll down for more info about the participants.
|Cora Tait, a graduate of Alliance Theological Seminary and New Brunswick Theological Seminary, is pastor of Highbridge Community Church (RCA) in the Bronx.|
|Joshua Bode is pastor of Woodstock (New York) Reformed Church and a graduate of Western Theological Seminary. He is a past moderator of the RCA Commission on Church Order.|
|Lynn Japinga is Professor of Religion at Hope College, and a graduate of Princeton and Union (NY) Theological Seminaries. She is the author of Loyalty and Loss: The Reformed Church in America, 1945-1994. Her book Preaching the Women of the Old Testament: Who They Were and Why They Matter, is scheduled for publication in 2017.|
|Jaeseung Cha is Associate Professor of Foundational and Constructive Theology at NBTS.|
“Our Only Comfort: Belonging in the RCA.”
In the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism, Reformed Christians say that our only comfort in life and in death is that we belong to Jesus Christ. In question and answer number 32, we say that we are called Christians because, by faith, we are members of Christ. Membership and how we understand it is important to our Reformed understanding of the church and the world.
On Thursday, 6 October, 2016, the Reformed Church Center at New Brunswick Seminary hosted “Our Only Comfort: Belonging in the RCA.”
Dirk Mouw, historian, translator and a fellow of the Reformed Church Center, presented the 2016-17 Albert A. Smith lecture in RCA History; his topic was how the colonial Dutch Reformed Church understood church membership.
Following that were presentations on the experience of becoming members of the RCA for Hispanics, Asians and African-Americans by:
- Irving Rivera–pastor of Meadow Hill Reformed Church in Newburgh, NY, and past president of the General Synod of the RCA
- En Young Kim–RCA Supervisor of Mission in Asia and the Pacific and Coordinator for Pacific and Asian -American Ministries
- Anna Jackson–pastor of the Reformed Church of Queens, NY, and moderator of the board of trustees at NBTS.
The day concluded with group discussion over lunch of what membership means in the modern RCA and how we grow into new understandings based on our experiences.